BOGNOR REGIS TOWN   2 (Carter 12’; Starkey 75’)
GUERNSEY                         1 (Bougourd 87’)

Guernsey FC Women are out of the Women’s Isthmian League Cup but ran their hosts Bognor Regis Town close in the second round on Wednesday night.

In a late rally from the Green Lionesses after they trailed to home strikes either side of half-time, captain Candice Bougourd got her side back in the game with a few minutes left on the clock and the visitors came close to nicking an equaliser.

But no matter what the result, two competitive games, the latter against a team at a higher level, is tremendous experience for this new young team.

Bognor started with an authority their status suggested in comparison to Anna Gauvain’s team. Vicki Rang stretched to make a brilliant goal-line clearance on seven minutes, bailing out her goalkeeper Kayley Marquis.

The hosts led on 12 minutes as Millie Carter gave Marquis no chance in picking out the top corner.

Codie Le Flem couldn’t make a clean connection on a couple of half chances towards the end of the half, and with GFC growing in confidence as the half wore on, it was all to play for after the break.

Guernsey got forward plenty in the second period but the final ball wasn’t quite coming off for them. The hosts looked more threatening in attack, with Laura Barton rattling the crossbar from the edge of the area with Marquis beaten. Kirsty Willet then dragged wide from outside the box and Marquis held two free kicks from Loulou Robson. 

What turned out to be the clincher came from a good Bognor move down the right and substitute Georgina Starkey was well placed in the middle to finish the cross. Marquis then made a strong save to just about keep her side in it, rushing out to block as Starkey got in behind and went for the lob.

Then Guernsey started to put on the pressure to force the issue. Bougourd fired wide from distance and Donna Gallienne lifted over as the Green Lionesses tried to capitalise on a defensive mistake.

Sian Butt came on for her debut and had barely been on the pitch 10 seconds when she got herself right into the thick of it, winning her side a penalty as she got clattered trying to bring the ball down in the box.

The desperately unlucky Butt had to be withdrawn straight away from an injury resulting from the challenge. Bougourd took responsibility but saw her initial effort saved. Luckily, she was quickest of the mark to the rebound and smashed it in from close range to set up a grandstand finish.

Scarlett Kenneally had a great chance to level late on when she found herself free at the back post following a corner, but could only drag wide of the near post.

Then first-round hat-trick hero Codie Le Flem got on the end of a threaded pass in injury time but the angle was against her and she could only fire straight at goalkeeper Nicole Robinson.

GUERNSEY: 1 Kayleigh MARQUIS; 2 Scarlett KENNEALLY; 3 Scarlett GALLAGHER; 4 Aimee OGIER (12 Emily PIKE); 5 Vicki RANG; 6 Steph BATISTE; 7 Codie LE FLEM; 8 Candice BOUGOURD; 9 Gracia VAN ZUTPHEN (15 Sian BUTT (14 Katie WATSON); 10 Donna GALLIENNE; 11 Adrienne LEECH.